We usually get two questions that are very similar – one usually comes from an expert and one from a beginner.
The question that comes from the expert will be: “Which fly rod should I bring with me when I fish for Utah trout with you?”
The question that comes from the beginner will be: “I am getting into fly fishing here in Utah and I’m about to buy a fly rod, what is the proper length and weight that I want.”
To answer both questions – while fly fishing in Utah you will want to have a 9’ 5 weight fly rod for most of the blue ribbon rivers that we will fish (usually the Provo and Weber rivers).
Keep in mind that in fly fishing, the line provides the weight to deliver the fly when you cast. There are two reasons you will want to think about choosing a lighter or heavier weight (a 5 weight is heavier than a 4 weight) rod where you will be fishing. The first reason is because the larger the fly, the more wind resistant and heavy it is, so the larger (heavier) the line you need to deliver it. The second reason is because of the size of fish you plan on catching. In some of the smaller streams in Utah, it is reasonable to use a very light 3 weight rod. But that 3 weight rod would very difficult to bring in a healthy good fighting 20 inch Provo River brown trout.
To sum it up – when fishing for larger fish with larger flies you need a heavier weighted rod designed to cast the larger line and flies you will use.
The next question I get which always comes from the beginner is should I buy a two-piece, 3-piece, or 4-piece rod? The main benefit of having a 4 piece rod is that it becomes easy to travel with. If you plan on doing most of your fishing from home and you do not plan on ever taking the rod back packing or on an airplane then a two-piece rod will do just fine. But I would suggest a 4-piece rod so you have the luxury, if needed, to travel with it.